It may sound strange but in France postal workers are not just about posting packages and making sure your letters arrive on time. They also perform a much-needed service in society, that of checking the elderly are okay and well. One such worker is Nicolas Dezeure, in rural France his yellow post van is a welcome sight.
Isolated houses and low population mean some elderly find themselves extremely lonely, especially if they are a widow. Which means younger relatives are left worrying if they are okay. In France, the postal service can provide young relatives with an easy way to check on their grandparents. It may look like the rural postman Dezeure is only checking on 80-year-old residents out of politeness, but this is a carefully planned visit most of the time.
Which is a new strategy rolled out by the post office as it attempts to solve two big problems: the growing number of elderly people living alone and the ever decreasing amount of letters sent in this modern digital era. This means France’s national postal service is starting to look for a new way to make a profit. After all, they employ over 73,000 postal workers and by 2020 it is estimated letter sending profits will be less than 20%, to survive they must adapt.
This new service allows customers to pay for regular check-ups on their loved ones, a clever solution to the modern era of loneliness. Over 6,000 elderly are currently being checked up regularly by this service, which also has options for reports and alert systems, the average age is 82 with the oldest being in their 100s.
France Postal is very proud of their new service, boasting that nowhere else in the world can people find a simple and well-liked solution for checking up on their elderly relatives. You see the postman is usually seen as a key figure in the local rural villages and generally well-liked, people tend to even set their clocks judging by the time of postal deliveries.